Check out all the performances from the 2012 MTV EMA!
OK, guys, brace yourselves, because the 2012 MTV Europe Music Awards have arrived! We’ve never wanted so badly to be in Germany! We’ll instead settle for a large platter of soft pretzels, frankfurters, beer, and… other German delicacies while we stare raptly at our TV like real Americans do. Anyway, we’ve told you everything there is to know about this year’s EMA — like, the 19th annual show is all up in Frankfurt, Germany, Heidi Klum is hosting, plus No Doubt, Taylor Swift, Muse, Alicia Keys, The Killers, Rita Ora, fun., Pitbull, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Psy are all performing! — so now all that’s left to do is WATCH! Are you ready? ’Cause we sure are. LET’S GO! ::Takes perversely enormous bite of soft pretzel::
Watch the 2012 MTV EMA performances after the jump!
Rita Ora opens the 2012 MTV EMA with “R.I.P.”
RITA ORA PERFORMS “R.I.P.” AT THE 2012 MTV EMA:
Making her grand entrance to the EMA stage in a birdcage-like thing (we know why the caged Ora sings? Never mind.), Rita Ora looked stunning in an all-red sparkling jumpsuit topped off in a matching letterman-esque jacket and high tops. LIKE! Singing an explosive (at times literally) performance of her smash “R.I.P.,” Rita marched around the stage with a slew of backup dancers evoking urban apocalypse/”Thriller” imagery before yanking out a huge, black umbrella to protect her as major cascades of sparks poured down. (Just saying, Rita, you better put that umbrella away before you get too many Rihanna comparisons.)
Fun. takes the stage for a performance of their hit, “We Are Young.”
fun. PERFORMS “WE ARE YOUNG” AT THE 2012 MTV EMA:
fun. hit the EMA stage to perform their smash hit “We Are Young,” and true to form, the bros kept it all about the music. And also about looking all “we’re totally indie and wear flannel, but are still totally approachable!” And did we mention that fun. shared the stage with a troupe of totally creepy and bizarre-looking mannequins that
definitely probably was an homage the 1987 movie “Mannequin?” (BTW, shouts to Kim Cattrall!) Uncomfortable mannequins aside, we kind of love that amidst all the choreography and glitter jumpsuits of the night (we’re looking at you, Rita Ora) they boys kept it simple and classy. Also, Nate Ruess, you have a ridiculous set of pipes and don’t let anyone else tell you different.
+ BONUS CLIP: Watch fun. perform “We Are Young” at the 2012 MTV EMA.
Carly Rae Jepsen dives into the crowd during “Call Me Maybe.”
CARLY RAE JEPSEN PERFORMS “CALL ME MAYBE” AT THE 2012 MTV EMA:
Carly Rae Jepsen didn’t just take over America with her Kryptonite bubblegum jam. She didn’t just take over the Internet, either. She took over the world with her brain-scarring hit “Call Me Maybe,” which is how she landed on the 2012 MTV EMA stage in Frankfurt. And for her EMA performance, a darker-haired Carly Rae Jepsen wasn’t so much in dippy girl-next-door mode as she was golden-hearted vampy vixen; despite the set’s flashing hearts a more mature Carly Rae (think worldly college senior versus high school freshman) projected a more cunning, alluring version of herself, embracing the tones of a young-adult awakening rather than a text-happy teen. But lest you fear we’ve lost our teenage dream to the dark side, the performance culminated in a dance party of attractive, bouncy, color-coordinated teens (surrounded by audience members whose smart phone screens lit up the night like 21st-century lighters) as the happiest, cutest party song won Europe’s heart.
+ BONUS CLIP: Watch Carly Rae Jepsen perform “Call Me Maybe” at the 2012 MTV EMA.
Alicia Keys sets the stage aflame with her performance of “Girl On Fire.”
ALICIA KEYS PERFORMS “NEW DAY” AND “GIRL ON FIRE” AT THE 2012 MTV EMA:
Leave it to Alicia Keys to steal the show way before it’s over. Merging her two latest hits “New Day” and “Girl On Fire,” Alicia tore it up onstage with all manner of circus-like pyrotechnics. Wearing a tight, black see-through top, Alicia burned (heh) through the first part of “New Day” before transitioning into “Girl On Fire” (both tracks are on her latest release, Girl On Fire) where a gigantic flaming hoop floated down from the ceiling carrying an acrobat (bet you a million dollars that was Pink — we know how much she likes to channel Circ du Soleil at MTV award shows). Wailing the lyrics to “Girl On Fire,” Alicia stood at an electric piano as fire and sparks once again rained down from the ceiling (for a second we were worried we’d have a Michael Jackson-Pepsi-hair-on-fire situation on our hands — where was
Rianna’s Rita Ora’s umbrella when we needed it??).
No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani looks as AGELESS as the day “Tragic Kingdom” came out.
+ NO DOUBT PERFORMS “LOOKING HOT” AT THE 2012 MTV EMA:
Well, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves. For a band celebrating two decades on the scene — the “scene” having expanded from the So. Cal ska scene to leaders of the mainstream pop scene to the international music scene — No Doubt looks — and sounds hotter than ever. Accordingly, for their 2012 MTV EMA performance, No Doubt roared through “Looking Hot,” the second single off of their Push And Shove release. And they were looking like a true rock band, too in carefully coordinating black and white, with Gwen Stefani front and center, sounding (and looking — what up, thigh-high stiletto boots) every bit as commanding and acrobatic as her Tragic Kingdom days. As a coy reminder of the band’s affinity for juggling genres, the song downshifted into reggae mode before expertly bobbing, weaving, head-banging and grinding through the dance-rock song that raises a rhetoric question everyone already knows the answer to.
+ BONUS CLIP: Watch No Doubt perform “Looking Hot” at the 2012 MTV EMA.
The Killers’ Brandon Flowers leads a booming rendition of “Runaways.”
THE KILLERS PERFORM “RUNAWAYS” AT THE 2012 MTV EMA:
The Killers stormed the EMA stage to perform their jam “Runaways,” and although this blurb is supposed to be (and will be!) about the music, can we just pause for a sec to talk about the mug on lead singer Brandon Flowers? Not too shabby, bb! Moving right along to the actual performance, amidst a flurry of red, Jennifer Lopez “Waiting For Tonight“-style laser lights, The Killers ruled the stage and looked like total pros. We know, these guys are still young and hot and stuff, but isn’t it about we call them “veterans?” Okay fine, attractive and cool veterans.
Psy raps/dances “Gangnam Style” as though it were his last day on Earth.
PSY PERFORMS “GANGNAM STYLE” AT THE 2012 MTV EMA:
Ok, guys, the EMA can probably end now and we’d all die happy, because we’ve just seen the most insane three-to-four minutes of television ever. Performing his much-loved (and much-parodied) hit “Gangnam Style,” Korean-pop sensation Psy kicked off the set chilling in a beach lounger as the opening beats to “Gangnam Style” echoed in. After realizing that they’re playing his song, Psy took off running to the EMA stage, but not before, er, catching David Hasselhoff on the toilet (“The Hoff” is apparently a huge deal in Europe — and apparently catching him knee-deep in a porta potty is like the equivalent of catching naked Lena Dunham on the porcelain throne at the Emmys). Yeah, so what does “The Hoff” do as he’s caught with his pants down? The only thing he CAN do – which is to start dancing “Gangnam Style”’s trademark horsey/rodeo dance. (Funny, that’s also what we do to diffuse an awkward situation!) Once Psy leaves David Hasselhoff to…do his business, Psy finally mades it onstage to perform a maddeningly energetic rendition of his hit song. Trailed by a billion backup dancers in Psy-style powder blue tuxes, Psy danced maniacally to “Gangnam Style” as though it were his last day on Earth. …While cheesy Psy animations played in the background. Consider the EMA OWNED.
Muse take the term “arena-rock” to the next level with “Madness.”
MUSE PERFORMS “MADNESS” AT THE 2012 MTV EMA:
We’ll be honest — Muse surprised us! We love Muse, but we kind of expected their performance of “Madness” to be, how shall we say, another classic “rock band” performance. A totally dope “rock band” performance, but a straight-up one at that. But surprise! That wasn’t the case at all. Rather, Muse got all futuristic on us courtesy of some incredibly special LCD sunglasses worn by lead singer Matt Bellamy. And did we mention that these glasses were actually like, mini TV screens (OMG) that projected the lyrics to “Madness” on them? (Aaaand cue our in-home karaoke party.) Oh, and we should also let you know that guitarist Christopher Wolstenholme played, brace yourselves, a touch-pad guitar. Or an iPad mini embedded into an instrument! Whichever. Either way, it was totally next level and we loved it. Also, guys, where the EFF does one purchase those TV-screen glasses? This gal has hella Hanukkah presents to buy!
Pitbull dances with an array of Judy Jetson-like characters for “Don’t Stop The Party.”
PITBULL PERFORMS “DON’T STOP THE PARTY” AT THE 2012 MTV EMA:
Pitbull hasn’t grown out of his Mr. 305 moniker, but he’s clearly more comfortable than ever with his “Mr. Worldwide” nickname, as evidenced by his louche ruling of the 2012 MTV EMA stage in Frankfurt. “Don’t Stop The Party” just dropped this past September, but the song’s already an international hit, and his EMA performance proved that the party’s in no danger of slowing down and that the artist responsible for Global Warming is capable of heating up any stage in any city. Flanked by a bevy of Busby Berkeley-style beauties (looking like Dee-Lite dancers Miley Cyrus’ awesome new pixie cut) carrying mirrorballs, Pitbull looked like a kid in a candy shop… if that candy shop was also filled with ready and able women dressed like risque Judy Jetsons. Because glittery, dancing dolls would just be too easy, “Don’t Stop The Party” turned up and turned into an endless dance party as male dancers illuminated by giant glo-sticks stormed the stage with Pitbull leading the party pack. Como se dice “fiesta” in German? Oh yeah. “Pitbull.”
Taylor Swift trades in her PJs for coattails and a top hat in “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”
TAYLOR SWIFT PERFORMS “WE ARE NEVER EVER GETTING BACK TOGETHER” AT THE 2012 MTV EMA:
Closing out tonight’s show, Taylor Swift incidentally wore the most sequins AND utilized the most pyrotechnics! (Yes, Taylor Swift and fire happened ON THE VERY SAME STAGE. Fine, so maybe they were sparklers, but we were still very impressed.) Performing her breakup smash “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” Taylor traded in her usual adorkable pajamas and giant dance party for the EMA’s circus theme as the Ringmaster. OBVS. And did we mention she had her very own riding crop? And that she wore a sick red sequined jacket that was pretty much identical to the one in the ad for the Ringling Brothers circus/the one Britney Spears wore on her “Circus” tour? Clearly, girl skipped the part of a breakup that results in the consumption of an entire tub of Ben & Jerry’s, and went straight to the part where she’s really famous and wins a whopping three EMA awards! Breakups never looked so good.
Photo credit: MTV/Getty Images